Tips on Saving up for a Trip: How to Budget for Your Vacation

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No matter how busy you are, you need a vacation occasionally to recharge your energy and relax your body. It is desirable to plan a trip both logistically and financially so you can fully enjoy your vacation without much hassle or concerns. Here I will focus on tips on how to save up for a trip.

[Five Simple Tips to Travel on a Budget]

1.Choose your destination and travel time early.

Do you have a bucket list of where you want to visit?

Knowing the destination will help you decide the amount of money you need to budget for the trip. Obviously traveling overseas requires a quite different budget than driving to a suburb for sightseeing.

Ideally, you want to decide on your destination, days of trip, and time of the year, etc. early (at least a few months before the trip) so that you can plan other travel-related issues and start saving for the travel accordingly.

2. Make a list of activities you want to do in your getaway.

What are the activities you will be doing during the trip? Are there any free activities? Are there any activities you can purchase tickets online at a discount price?

Also consider the gears needed for those activities, such as snow suites or camping tents. Knowing activities and required gears will help you plan the list of items to prepare and bring with you.

Check out these regular item checklists, and add (or cross out) items based on your actual needs.

[Saving Time and Money on Travel Using Three Checklists]

3. Budget the amount of money needed for the trip.

You need to have a rough estimate on how much money you need for the trip. Knowing the total amount, you then can decide how to contribute to the cost and save up for a trip.

Here’s what I usually do:

a. Identify items/costs that do not need to spend cash. These may include:

Air tickets that can be redeemed using credit cards points. Transportation, especially flights, can be quite expensive. In my other post, I wrote about the credit card (Chase Sapphire) to accumulate points and redeem air tickets. Since I use it as my daily regular card for payment, the points add up soon and allow me to redeem domestic and even international flights.

 [7 Reasons Why You Should Get a Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card]

— Things you can borrow. If there are some expensive items you will only use for this vacation (such as camping tents or certain road trip equipment) and can be borrowed from a family member or a friend, you don’t have to buy one yourself.
Don’t forget to borrow a book or two from your local library, so you can have something to keep yourself entertained and relaxed during the flight or at the beach.

Things you already have. This may sound like a no brainer, but we often forget to bring something actually available in our household and have to buy it during the trip. Go through the checklist and don’t miss anything your already have. A penny saved is a penny earned.

b. Start saving for other travel spending

There are many ways to save for a short-term financial goal, like vacation traveling.

–Decide how much you are comfortable saving in each month. Then set up an automatic deposit from a checking account. This method will help you save before spending and is a great way to avoid overspending.

–Save your tax refunds. When you receive your tax refund, save the full amount or part of it into your vacation savings.

–Sell stuff you no longer need in a yard sale or a consignment store for extra cash.

–Make more money through side hustles. Make good use of your spare time to engage in some side hustles, such as being a lyft driver or a dog walker.

–Sell stuff you no longer need in a yard sale or a consignment store for extra cash.

Invest small money in micro-investing platforms to see your money grow.

Check your utility bills and review the plan and spending. Sometimes you may find a better deal to lower the cost by contacting the customer services.

–Cut your spending. In addition to proactively save up for the trip, you also need to reduce your spending, such as planning out a no-spending day, bringing brown bag lunch to work, and making coffee at home or in office instead of buying coffee from Starbucks.

With careful planning and saving toward the goal, you can enjoy a vacation with a well-managed budget. Check out more money-making and money-saving tips. 

save up for a trip

saving for travel

save up for a trip


  1. Trying to get to France soon. Thanks for the tips.

    1. Great. Hope you have a nice trip!

  2. I LOVE the encouragement to save for a trip instead of putting it on the credit card. I’ve found I value a vacation MUCH more if I’ve sacrificed for it.

    1. So glad to hear that! Thanks for sharing your thought.

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